Cruises can be an escape from the mundane of daily life, giving you a taste of many tropical destinations and fun on-board activities. They may not be as care-free as you think, though.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institute of Health conducted a three-year survey of injuries aboard a cruise ship. It looked specifically at passenger incidents, not considering injuries sustained by staff.
Who was injured?
During the three years of the survey, there were 663 injuries. The numbers showed that most people who suffered injury were women at 62.7%. Everyone from ages 1 to 97 had reported injuries, but the average age was around 72 years old.
What was the most common injury?
In this study, the most common injuries were caused by slips, trips and falls. They included 69.4% of accidents on land and 44.8% of those on the ship. The most common resulting injury was an open wound at 41.6%.
Where do injuries happen?
Most injury incidents were reported aboard the ship at 65.3%. Following, 31.1% occurred while passengers were on shore and 3.6% happened on tenders, or the transportation from ship to shore. It was more likely for wounds, fractures and dislocations to happen on land rather than on the ship. The most common places for injuries in descending order were cabins, bathrooms, streets on land and buses.
How serious are the injuries?
12.5% of injuries were labeled ‘serious’, meaning that the patient is not expected to fully recover within two weeks, or they need hospitalization on land. Still, only 2% of injuries resulted in a passenger hospitalization at a port. The study did not find any injuries that required an evacuation by helicopter.
Though this is just one study of a single cruise ship, the three-year study gives a snapshot of the dangers aboard a ship. Most of the slip, trip, fall injuries actually happen while passengers are not on the ship.